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'Lemon' lore

To most of America, Wallace Shawn is a stout character actor whose role in the popular fantasy film "The Princess Bride" has been the source of endless adulation and homage. Shawn is far from a one-hit wonder and deserves far more credit for his off-camera work as a playwright and essayist of formidable talent and piercing intellect.

Local theatergoers will have a chance to see that side of Shawn at work with Torn Space Theater's production of his 1986 play "Aunt Dan and Lemon." The show, a disturbing exploration of the human propensity for violence and its capacity for compassion, opened Thursday night in Torn Space Theater (612 Fillmore Ave.) and runs through April 10. It tells the story of Lemon, a reclusive young woman suffering from some unnamed illness who is obsessed with Nazi literature, and her female aunt, who shares her bizarre and strangely formed ideology with her niece. David Oliver directs.

Tickets are $12 to $20, with more information at 812-5733 or

-- Colin Dabkowski

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